I got this book because of the VERY mixed reviews.
First I believe that no book should be banned for any reason.
That said ..Show More »some books are not appropriate for all readers.
To the people that got hung up about the "sex" scene.
The characters in this book are ADULTS. And Katsa is an assassin!!!! She has the emotion of what she is. Death on two legs.
Poe is the First person to show her any feelings at all.
To those again that went on and on about the sex scene YOU ruined a very good book for me, I kept saying "so when is this going to happen?" And it must be graphic and I really was afraid it would be, the way some had it sound, it would be pornographic. It was not. When it did happen it was in very good taste and wright for the time.
The book is PREFORMED like a play with many actors. Some may not like this, I do. It was well written and well preformed, and the story is very good.
It should not be shocking to have a strong female lead as most of the rubbish on TV is so poorly done.
I recommend Garth Nix"'s Sabriel for more of the same.
Unlike the some of the other reviewers, I actually enjoyed Fire more than Graceling. There are some big differences between these two books- they alm..Show More »ost don't belong to the same series. However, I really liked Fire, the main character, because she wasn't as hot-tempered as Katsa. I really enjoyed the conflicts between the different parts of the Dells (the country). I found this book to be engrossing, exciting, and smoother overall than Graceling.
Set in a different location but same world as Graceling, there is only one character familiar to readers of the first book. The story has a broad rom..Show More »antic streak through it - if you enjoyed the relationship of the protagonists in Graceling you'll enjoy more of the same in Fire. It is still a fantasy novel though, and fantasy themes are fundamental to the story.
I picked up a shiny new copy of Graceling from the library shelf, and was enthralled from page one. The novel pulled me in so fast and hard that I did..Show More » not spend much time looking for flaws, but I remember feeling at the time that this might a first novel phenomenon - glowing with passion and maybe the desperation of years of trying to publish. On one hand there is the author who seasons and deepens with age, and on the other there is the author who has a single story to tell and then, finding fortune, continues writing.
Perhaps that is too harsh, but that is how I feel about both Fire and Bitterblue. Bitterblue was rambling, the story set up as a puzzle but without any of the sense of mystery and discovery, or movement, that a puzzle should have. While the subject matter is adult - sexual and psychological abuse, espionage, politics, sexual relationships, self injury, suicide, etc. - the tone is simplistic and juvenile.
The character Bitterblue was more a conduit for events around her than an individual personality - a relatable but bland character. She did not comport herself with any of the subtlety or circumspection I would expect from someone raised to be a queen. Her love interest, Sapphire, was constantly dragged into the story without actually being relevant to it, and that felt forced. When, in the end, his Grace is discovered and he suddenly becomes very relevant to Bitterblue and her reign, the story doesn't even touch the possibility of his use/abuse by the crown. I assume this is because Bitterblue is too compassionate and high-minded to use the people around her, but that really doesn't help me see her as a queen.